More consumers allege that the windshields of certain Subaru vehicles are defective in that they can spontaneously crack, chip or otherwise break, sometimes “within weeks or a few months of purchase.” Compounding the problem, a proposed class action claims, is that replacement windshields provided by defendant Subaru of America, Inc. “suffer from the same defect” and are “therefore equally defective and dangerous.”
New Jersey-headquartered Subaru has built its reputation by marketing itself as “more than a car company,” the lawsuit out of California begins. The automaker, according to the case, emphasizes its commitment to customer care and safety, and touts on its website “industry-leading safety innovations” while representing that Subaru works for “a greater good.” The plaintiffs allege, however, that the company’s handling of its supposedly defective windshield problem goes against its self-curated image.
According to the complaint, Subaru “is well aware from customer complaints, reports from its dealers, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration … filings” that the windshields on the following vehicle models can “prematurely and unreasonably” break:
2017-2020 Subaru Outback;
2017-2020 Subaru Forester;
2017-2020 Subaru Crosstrek;
2017-2020 Subaru Impreza;
2017-2020 Subaru Legacy; and
2019-2020 Subaru Ascent.
As the lawsuit tells it, Subaru became aware of the alleged windshield defect “soon after the vehicles were released for sale to the public.” Despite possessing knowledge of the problem “for years,” Subaru, the lawsuit alleges, has neither accepted responsibility for the apparent windshield defect nor replaced drivers’ windshields at no cost under its new vehicle warranties. In that light, the plaintiffs claim the automaker “refuses to honor its commitment to its loyal customers, is jeopardizing the safety of the public, and is forcing its customers to bear the expense of Subaru’s mistakes and malfeasance.”
Elaborating on the dangers faced by drivers and pedestrians, the case says a structurally unsound windshield affects in particular Subaru’s “Eyesight Driver Assist Technology,” a safety feature that comes with certain vehicles at an additional cost. Though Subaru’s Eyesight system reportedly monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control and provides a warning when a driver swerves out of their lane, a broken windshield requires recalibration of the system, adding to consumers’ expenses stemming from the apparent defect.
According to the suit, a new type of “acoustic glass” used for Subaru windshields “coincides with the widespread problems.”